James Purnell: the photoshopping hole gets deeper

Liberal Democrat Voice reported previously on the little local photoshopping trouble Labour minister James Purnell has run into (and which is the cause of this outbreak of photos around the internet).

In brief: he turned up late for a visit with three other MPs to the Tameside General Hospital. However, when the photo of the visit was published, all four MPs were there, standing next to each other.

The MP and the hospital have since given slightly – but perhaps very significantly – different versions of events. As the BBC reported:

A statement from the hospital trust appeared to contradict Mr Purnell’s version of events, stating that that he had agreed to the faked photo … “All the MPs had gone to great efforts to show their support, and as we would not be able to stage a repeat of this historic day for the hospital, we decided to take a photograph of Mr Purnell in the same spot very shortly after, and merge it with the earlier photograph, to which Mr Purnell kindly consented” [said a spokesperson for the hospital].

But now two of the other MPs have admitted to discussions about how the photo would be faked:

The MPs, who featured alongside Mr Purnell in the doctored photograph, revealed that they had discussed how he would be merged into the shot after failing to turn up for a photocall on time.

The MPs say that they had organised several different poses, each of which had space for the absent minister.

James Purnell’s defence on regional TV can be watched here:

Hat-tip for YouTube clip: nomottrambypass

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